Why is Christianity so hard? It’s not. Not if you’re all in. What I’ve found in myself and observing others is that if you live your life for yourself, you’ll experience a certain level of comfort, or, if not comfort, then at least some measure of self gratification. But if you give yourself completely to Christ, you’ll experience an abundant life–the best life possible. It’s when you or I are in between that it gets hard.
Jesus said the Christian life is narrow (Matthew 7:13-14), but he never said it’s hard. In fact he said it’s easy. (Matthew 11:28-30) The thing is, it doesn’t become easy until you’re all in. Jesus said he came so we could have a rich abundant life (John 10:10), but you and I won’t experience that rich abundant life unless we connect with Christ to the fullest extent we can.
I think many Christians today find Christianity hard because they’re not disciples. It might seem like a paradox but the deeper you go in Christ, the richer and more abundant your life becomes. You love God more. You grow more. You love people more. And you also lose yourself, and that part can be scary. You lose yourself because your focus turns away from you and toward loving God and loving people. That idea can be frightening. It’s frightening because we don’t want to let go of ourselves. We fear losing the self-life. But if you ever have the courage to try it, if you ever find the courage to just plunge into Jesus Christ and become a real follower of him and his words, you’ll discover what many have discovered before you:
Intimacy with Jesus results in the best life possible.
“For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me will find it.” -Jesus Christ, Matthew 16:25
Lose yourself in Jesus Christ, and see what happens to your life.
[Image via Pictoscribe – Creative Commons]
I think the key to what you’re saying Kurt was in the opening sentence. It’s about being “All In”. When the Holy Spirit takes over and we yield to Him, that’s when we enjoy our walks with God the most.
Thanks for a great reminder
Yes, true words Peter. Thanks for sharing that.
Jesus said he came so we could have a rich abundant life (John 10:10), but you and I won’t experience that rich abundant life unless we connect with Christ to the fullest extent we can:
Wow, the “fullest extent” is beyond what any of us tend to comprehend. Consider the confusion with 38,000+ denominations. Who are we supposed to follow? Each are different. Yet His disciples, followed His commands and did as He did. And they taught likewise. How well do we connect today?
It is up to each and everyone of us who call themselves a follower of this Savior, Jesus the Anointed, and One with His Father, to study to show themselves approved by this Master whom we claim for ourselves by rightly dividing His Word. He is the Living Word and He has given us a Living Nomos/Torah. With Passover upon us we should consider all He said and all He did, from His birth to His death. He obeyed His Father’s commands, the commands given through Moses. He upheld His Father’s very words and taught likewise:
John 5:19 Jesus therefore answered them, “Most certainly, I tell you, the Son can do nothing of himself, but what he sees the Father doing. For whatever things he does, these the Son also does likewise.
Mar 7:10 For Moses said, ‘Honor your father and your mother;’ and, ‘He who speaks evil of father or mother, let him be put to death.’
Luke 2:22 When the days of their purification according to the law of Moses were fulfilled, they brought him up to Jerusalem, to present him to the Lord
Luke 2:23 (as it is written in the law of the Lord, “Every male who opens the womb shall be called holy to the Lord”),
Luke 16:31 “He said to him, ‘If they don’t listen to Moses and the prophets, neither will they be persuaded if one rises from the dead.’ ”
Luke 24:27 Beginning from Moses and from all the prophets, he explained to them in all the Scriptures the things concerning himself.
John 5:45-47 “Don’t think that I will accuse you to the Father. There is one who accuses you, even Moses, on whom you have set your hope. For if you believed Moses, you would believe me; for he wrote about me. But if you don’t believe his writings, how will you believe my words?”
If we murder we must be punished to the full extent of the law which originally came through our Master through the lips of Moses on Mt. Sinai. But if we connect intimately with our Master, by following Him, based upon His earthly example of obeying His Father and of laying down His life at Golgotha to wash away our sins, we enter into the full extent of reward when He returns. Yet this requires faithfulness and righteous living, just as you indicate Kurt, and we will hear “thou good and faithful servant, enter in….”
And what does He require of us: He has shown you, O man, what is good. What does Yahweh require of you, but to act justly, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with your God? (Micah 6:8)
I desire to be “all in Him!” Father help us all and thank you for sending Your Only-begotten Son, the soon coming Son of David to rightly rule in kingship for your people!
Great words of wisdom again Irene. Thanks for sharing.
This is a great post, but I vehemently disagreed with your main point. Of course, Christianity is hard. If it were easy the apostle Peter would not have had such a hard time accepting the Gentiles. Plus, the Bible says, “All have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God’ (Romans 3:23). I could go on and on.
You’re right Noel, we’ll all experience hard times, some even worse than Peter’s when he struggled to accept the Gentiles. Jesus in John 16:33 says so. But in the same verse, John 16:33, he also says we’ll have peace if we follow him. Of course you’re also right about how we all have sinned. For me, because of my sins, and because of his saving grace, I’ve found that the deeper I go in Christ, the richer, more abundant, and easier life becomes. Living in a state of lukewarmness has been the hardest place for me by far. That’s been my observation for others as well.
From what I’ve read on your blog, I know you’re one who’s trying to go as deep as you can in your relationship with Jesus. I pray you’ll experience the abundant life God wants for you. Thanks for a great comment.
Thanks so much for your response Kurt. You are one of His sheep and you know His voice. God blesses, my friend.
Amen and Amen.